Name: University: Tutor: Course; Date: Obligation to Family According to Jane English The debate on whether grown children owe their parents anything has been debated for a long enough, yet, there still seems to be not adequate answer to this debate. Jane English (147- 154) however has thrown in her thoughts…
Some may find this argument demeaning to parents, especially those parents who go way beyond the extra mile in making sure that their child is well provided for. However, English (147- 154) is not arguing about whether or not children should help out their parents or if they should act positively in response to what their parents did for them. Instead, she is talking about the foundation on which such respiratory actions should be based. Her postulations are very important and should be looked at in a serious way because it could have serious implications. As the economy has become worse, younger people have to take care of their parents. In this regard, there is s slowly developing an attitude among young parents that when they grow old, their children will have to take care of them. This is risky attitude which can affect the society very negatively and lead to dire economic issues for a nation. Parents should learn how to provide for their children and at the same time secure their own future in order to benefit from them later children when the children grow up. Her arguments are therefore not just a social issue but an economic issue which must be looked at. She also argues that children are not in any way obliged to repay their parents in any way because anything that the parents did for them is supposed to have been done for friendship and not for any other reasons. To illustrate her point, she gives an analogy of two neighbours. She gives an analogy of a person named Max who has just arrived in a new place and asks a neighbour to take in his mail when he will be on vacation for a month. Jane English argues that in this case, the issue of owing can be appropriately applied because even if Max will not owe Nina anything, he is morally obligated to give a similar flavour for Nina in the future. However, in another scenario, if Nina mows Max’s lawn when max was away, despite that Max did not ask for this favour, Max will not owe or have any obligation to do such a favour to Nina, but because Nina’s lawn mowing was a friendly gesture, Max may want to return this by showing friendship to Nina such as by giving a friendly chat to her in the backyard or helping her catch her pet etc. She gives these two analogies as a way to indicate the parent-child relationship. Therefore, how the child and the parent should relate should be like the second analogy, where Nina mows Max’s lawn without him asking him, and therefore leaves Max with not moral obligation to reciprocate. Parents give to their children many things, including life, without expecting that the child will give them anything in return, but out of unconditional filial love. Anything less than this would them unable to relate well and would lead to it being unnecessarily restrained and constrained. By voluntarily giving birth to the child, educating the child, giving the child other gifts and other basic necessities, the parents are just doing their duty and creating a basis for mutual friendship with the child. The child will therefore not bear any moral obligation to pay back to his or her parents. In summary, her thoughts and ideas can be put this way; She points out to very important issues which regard to how the parent and the child should relate. She believes that a good parent should and must be motivated by the love of ...
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